Wednesday, December 5

Eid elAdha (as if) by Charles Dickens

Sineal* is in debt. She was arrested yesterday night. Why?
Well, she has debts and she cannot pay them.
Sineal has 10 children. Eight are still at home. The youngest is in kindergarden. Sineal worked as a cleaner until her hands simply gave up one day. She suffered from excruciating pains and became incapable of lifting even light objects. Two complicated hand operations later she became unable to work and therefore applied for social security disability. Ofcourse she didn't have private insurance. That's a luxury not extended to simple workers.
Her disability money-claim has not yet gone through, burocracy, as usual.
In the mean time she started receiving basic welfare. For some reason only 500 NIS a month (that's less than 200$), but with her child-allowance she somehow managed to survive.
Then all of a sudden the social insurance institute stopped paying her at all. The case is pending in court. It may take many months until things will clear up.
She and her 8 kids stuck without money. The electricity was cut off 2 weeks ago. The neighbors assist her with a small cable from their home, so she has some light at least.
Yesterday night the police came and arrested her for debts. The youngest children cried but no one really cared very much. The older girls cried and tried to get help.
With the aid of a lawyer, Sineale managed to go back home today. For the time being. She's been given 30 days to take care of her debts. If not, she will be arrested again.
The judge, a woman, was actually friendly and somewhat understanding. But the law is the law. and debts need to be paid.
I wonder why that doesn't apply to the social security institute. Why don't they pay their debt to Sineal? She always paid them while she could still work.
I have no idea how Sineal will be able to take care of her debts in 30 days. She doesn't have the money to buy food for her large family and herself.
Soon it will be Eid elAdha. But not for Sineal. Neither for her children.
*Sineal is not her real name. The story is true.

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